Surrogacy Agreements

Prospective parents have several alternatives to natural child conception and pregnancy. One option is the use of a surrogate mother to carry an implanted embryo to term. It is important for potential surrogate mothers and prospective parents to fully understand surrogacy laws, which differ by state.

Drafting a surrogacy contract is tricky business. It is important to note that the couple and the surrogate need separate and independent counsel. This helps ensure that their best interests are protected, and to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

What Is Surrogate Parenthood?

Surrogate parenting generally refers to a situation in which a woman agrees to carry a child for another person or couple. The surrogate parent is not considered to be the child’s mother. Rather, the other person (or couple) is intended to be the legal parent of the child born to the surrogate parent. 

There are two types of surrogate parenting arrangements. One is gestational or IVF, in which the surrogate does not use her own egg. Rather, the embryo is created with the egg of the intended parents or an egg donor. The second type is a “traditional” arrangement, or “AI” (artificial insemination), in which case the surrogate’s egg is used.

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Factors to Consider When Interviewing a Surrogate Mother

When you are looking for a surrogate with whom you can entrust the first nine months of your baby’s life, you will want to find someone who will treat the pregnancy as if it were her own. There are many factors that determine whether a woman is a right person to carry your child: her physical health, genetics, emotional well-being, and support network all have a bearing on the development and well-being of your child. Beyond that, you also have medical, legal, and financial considerations to keep in mind. Raising these questions early in the interviewing process will help you quickly narrow down surrogates who share your vision of the future and your family.

Child Visitation and Child Custody Agreements

Either before or after a legal process has begun, many parents negotiate a parenting agreement (also called a parenting plan). A parenting agreement can include a wide variety of details. Common details include which parent will have primary custody, specifics on the other parents’ visitation periods, which parent will make decisions regarding the child’s education, health care or religion. Also, procedures for the handling of potential changes to the arrangement.

Tana Benner offers help in surrogacy agreements.